Housing: Broadband

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 30th April 2018.

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Photo of Lord Kennedy of Southwark Lord Kennedy of Southwark Opposition Whip (Lords), Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Shadow Spokesperson (Housing)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with housing developers about ensuring high speed broadband connectivity to new housing developments, in particular rural housing developments.

Photo of Lord Ashton of Hyde Lord Ashton of Hyde The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The Department regularly discusses with housing developers how high speed broadband connectivity can be delivered to new housing developments.

In early 2016, DCMS brokered an agreement between Openreach and the Home Builders Federation (HBF) so that all new build developments would be offered with Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) for free, or as part of a co-funded initiative. This agreement - between the largest home builders organisation, whose members contribute approximately 80% of all private new homes in England and Wales, and the largest network provider - continues to be refined and improved, with input from DCMS. Originally, the threshold was for developments of 250 units or above, then lowered to 100, and is 30 today. Virgin Media and GTC - another infrastructure provider - have similar agreements with the HBF.

Rural connectivity is a priority and my officials are working with Defra, MHCLG and industry stakeholders to ensure that high quality digital connectivity reaches all areas of the UK.

My Department’s Barrier Busting Task Force continue to engage with the HBF and other house builders and further to this are exploring policy options that will make provisions for ultrafast broadband to be standard in all new homes, ensuring that residents receive the connectivity they deserve.

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